Michigan State Hockey Postgame Quotes
 
 
 

 

 
 

Feb. 29, 2008

Recap |  Final Stats

Michigan State Head Coach Rick Comley

On pulling out the win...
Obviously I am thrilled to win. I thought we really struggled though. We were sloppy all night. They have the type of team to take advantage of that. We turned the puck over like crazy. Every time we wanted to play at their end, we hurt them. Every time we attacked wide, we hurt them. We were so sloppy with the puck that it generated their opportunities. Right now, you have to win games. We will have to play a better game tomorrow to win tomorrow though.

On Bowling Green's improving...
Well (Jacob) Cepis was a great addition to their team. He is a real nice player. He was going high, and then he fanned on the shot, so Jeff (Lerg) was in the process of going up, and it went down and through him. But it was a real nice play, and he is a very good player. You can see why they have moved up, and why they have improved tremendously.

On the senior night atmosphere...
It was great. I thought the building was tremendous. I thought the crowd was really good. For the seniors, it's too bad, but it's such a tough game to play. They dealt with it, and got through the game. Getting the early goal really helped us. I thought the whole evening was fun, and good for our guys. They deserve it, because they have played 160 games. That is amazing. You are going deep in the playoffs for kids to play 160 games. It really says something about this group.

On Nick Sucharski's play...
He is a very responsible player. You kind of always want more from him, but when the night's over, he has played pretty darn well. He had a great shift just prior to (Justin) Abdelkader's goal, where I think three or four times himself he cleared the puck out of the zone, without taking an icing. He is a very valuable player for us. I trust him, he can win face-offs; he has just done a very nice job for us.

 

 

Michigan State Senior Daniel Vukovic

On the level of difficulty to play in that situation on senior night...
It was definitely difficult. I remember looking back on the seniors then, and now I'm thinking, where did the four years go? The seniors now I think, know we have a lot more hockey to play. It wasn't too hard. I think the last game we play it will be really hard but it was nice to see a lot of fans show up and it was just a nice feeling. To get the win on your senior night it's obviously a nice feeling.

On the moments he had to work hard and battle...
The game didn't go perfectly for us. We had stretches where we turned the puck over. I don't think anyone on the whole bench gave up or was negative. We knew there was a chance. The bench could have been the total opposite of what it was. It could have been negative, but we said no we're getting a win. You definitely felt a more championship atmosphere tonight. We just didn't play our game the whole 60 minutes.

On the biggest difference between this year's and last year's teams...
We realized we had to play our best every game or else we wouldn't be making the tournament this time around. We really bonded together. As a team as well, we're just focused on playing each period to its fullest. Each period we have to win and we have to play our game and if we do that we would be a very dangerous team.

On something that stands out at MSU...
All the guys have a winning attitude right now. In that locker room right now you have every guy that wants a win. There are no selfish players and everyone is thinking about getting a win. The players right now are battling so hard and that is making us better as a team.

On hearing "Oh Canada"...
Dave Ellis surprised me. I almost got tears on that one when I heard it and I didn't want to look at the camera because I knew I would lose it so I just kept my head down.

On getting over the senior ceremony and getting into the game...
We got into the game right away on the first shift. We told ourselves we're not getting off the ice until Zac McClellan scores a goal. But it was after that first shift that we really got into the game.

On Jeff Petry scoring...
Jeff Petry played great and when he hit that goal it really calmed us down. He has always had it to be that type of player. He has great playing ability and great vision and has a lot of confidence right now which is allowing him to be a great player. It's great to see him play like that as a freshman and he is going to be a great hockey player and is a great hockey player.

On Justin Abdelkader's winning goal...
It was an amazing shot and an amazing play in general. He just went for it and that shot was a rocket.

Michigan State Junior Forward Justin Abdelkader

On his game-winning goal...
I looked and I didn't know if it went it because it came out so fast, then the official that was below the goal line pointed right away. Everyone on the ice was kind of questioning the call.

On the emotion of senior night...
This was big because we really wanted to get a win for the seniors. They've meant so much to the program and so much to the younger guys on the team. They've been a real good class, leadership wise, on and off the ice.

On the ups and downs of the game...
We started out great with a goal by (Jeff) Petry. Then when we were up 3-2 they scored to tie it and everyone on the bench kind of dropped down. We tried to keep it positive, and it was fortunate to get that fourth one because it really picked everybody up. It was what we really need. I think we kind of learned from last year, losing to Bowling Green. We also knew this was important because this might be a second-round match-up in the CCHA Tournament. We wanted to send a message right away.

Bowling Green Head Coach Scott Paluch

Opening statement...
It was a real good hockey game and for 60 minutes we battled extremely hard. We played well, but unfortunately they made two real good plays with under three minutes to win the game and we didn't do that. We lost (Brandon) Svenson early in the game, so we had to battle through some things to give ourselves a chance at the end.

On his team's play...
I thought that both teams were able to create chances. But specific to us, I thought we were able to create some things down low in the zone. Unfortunately, we just didn't make the plays at the end of the game.

On the game-winning goal...
That was a great play by (Justin) Abdelkader. That was a really good player making a great play at the right time to win the hockey game. We had a nice play to get the tie to get ourselves in position. We had a good penalty kill after that but when it's all said and done, (Abdelkader) makes a great play on the goal and we can't catch up.

On the first two periods having few penalties compared to the third period...
I thought for the first two periods both teams were still creating chances. There was a lot going on, even though it was pretty quiet in terms of special teams. There were some great plays throughout the entire game, and I thought both goalies made some great plays. We did a lot of good things, it was just that in the last three minutes they made the plays.

On Jacob Cepis' goal...
Jacob (Cepis) has a knack for that. The puck seems to follow him around sometimes and when he didn't get one on the breakaway he was able to get it right back and finish it off. He's had quite a few plays like that this year.